PowerbyProxi > Articles by: Tony Francesca

Major Milestones for v1.2 Resonant Specification

August 5, 2014 / 1 Comments / 197 / Consumer Electronics Solutions

Posted on Wireless Power Consortium website 

WPC’s v1.1 specification, supported by the largest ecosystem comprising over 200 member companies, enables the most efficient and cost-effective wireless power solutions based on inductive power, close-coupled technology.

WPC’s Resonant Task Force (RTF) will deliver an extension for WPC v1.1 specification for a best-in-class magnetic resonance technology to address applications that require multi-device charging, increased spatial freedom, increased charging at distance (Z-height), and devices that are designed for different power levels.

The RTF has set high goals for backward compatibility to existing v1.1 specification, efficiency, transmitted power, FOD, thermal design, and other critical parameters. Meeting these goals would result in the most advanced and compelling products addressing a broad set of applications such as smartphones, tablets, PCs, wearables, automotive, and infrastructure.

Members saw significant achievements and progress at WPC’s Leeuwarden meeting in June, last month.  After hundreds of combined engineering hours by 5 of the world’s leading companies, here’s what happens with an open standards organization when the best minds in the industry collaborate:

  • Q1.1 receivers based on inductive v1.1 specification and charging at a Z-height of 7 mm, are now capable being charged at a Z-height of 30 mm
  • New magnetic resonance v1.2 receivers can now be charged at Z-height of 45mm, expecting further Z-Height in final production designs
  • Backward compatibility between Qi v1.1 and Qi 1.2 systems (v1.1 receivers charging on v1.2 transmitters, v1.2 receivers charging on v1.1 transmitters), allowing consumers protection of investment
  • Multi-device V1.2 Receivers charging on a v1.2 transmitter with one inverter, delivering lowest cost designs

Figure 1 – Multiple manufacturers demonstrating Qi1.1 and Qi1.2 resonant systems

Figure 2 – LG v1.2 resonant Tx’s delivering power to v1.1 inductive Rx and v1.2 resonant Rx

Figure 3 – LG resonant Tx delivering power to PowerbyProxi resonant Rx

Figure 4 – Philips resonant Tx delivering power to PowerbyProxi resonant RX at distance of 45mm Z height

Figure 5 – Convenient Power Tx delivering power to PowerbyProxi resonant RX at distance of 18mm Z height

The plug-fest was festive indeed!

The WPC is an open standards organization enabling the use the best ideas from any company. That’s why Qi sets the standard for wireless power transfer.

Tony Francesca
Chairman of the Resonance Taskforce

Why PowerbyProxi Joined the WPC, Consumers Vote with their Wallets

May 13, 2013 / 0 Comments / 253 / Consumer Electronics Solutions, Features

You may have heard that today PowerbyProxi announced it has become a member of the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) and joined its management team. As you may know, with the exception of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) Working Group 4 – focused on an highly resonant wireless power, ), PowerbyProxi has chosen not to join a standards organization until now. So what’s changed?

Simply put we are joining the WPC to deliver what customers have been telling us they want:  better user experience with spatial freedom and multi-device charging and wireless solutions to more consumer devices.

We believe that consumers “vote with their wallets” and buy products that meet their needs.

Established in 2008, the WPC is a pioneer and leader that developed an interoperable specification and created an unparalleled ecosystem of suppliers to deliver the best products to market.  These products carry the Qi logo and today, Qi is by far the most established wireless power solution with more products in more countries—yet another reason why we joined the WPC. In fact, the WPC represents 130 companies supplying 200 products into an installed base of tens of millions of consumer devices.  Qi products and charging locations are available in US, Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific, at such places as airports and cafes. The momentum continues with new products announced from leading companies such as the Samsung Galaxy S4, Google Nexus 4, Nokia Lumia models, LG Optimus G Pro and many more. We’ve also seen car companies begin to adopt Qi – cars such as the Toyota Avalon and Prius and the 2014 Jeep Cherokee have all been announced with Qi compatibility.

Leveraging its ecosystem and installed base, the WPC is expanding rapidly and will be the first to market with a wide range of new product categories and features, including highly resonant solutions and backward compatibility, with the help of PowerbyProxi:

  • Beyond smartphones, wireless power solutions will include tablets, ultrabooks, notebooks, kitchen appliances, and more.
  • The next level of consumer convenience:
    • spatial freedom, no need to align the consumer device to the charging pad
    • multi-device charging allowing you to simultaneously charge on the same pad multiple smartphones, tablets, and others.

Here at PowerbyProxi we have deep expertise in highly resonant systems with field-proven solutions in industrial and consumer electronics ranging from less than one watt to kilowatts.

We have seen other wireless power ecosystems formed.  They are late to market with limited members and geography.  What new features and consumer convenience are they planning to provide?  Highly resonant with spatial freedom and multi-device?

We don’t want fragmentation in the industry, it doesn’t serve consumers. Instead, we want to continue to focus on giving consumers the solutions they want in products they can buy today or in the very near future.

 Tony Francesca is VP of Business Development – Consumer Technologies 

Wireless Power Charging, a unified set of industry objectives for Consumers

October 9, 2012 / 0 Comments / 220 / Consumer Electronics Solutions

The Wireless Power World Shanghai 2012 was held last month on Sept 12 -13 where many of the leading companies presented and attended.

It was evident at the show that all companies and industry groups are now driving to a common set of objectives addressing the fundamental needs of consumers.  These consist of spatial freedom, simultaneously charging multiple devices, and addressing a wide power range for devices from smartphones to tablets and PCs.  Spatial freedom is the new term for “loosely coupled” and more intuitive than the prior technical term.

Although the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) was first in creating an interoperable specification to start the market, the adoption has been slow.   Some of the basic limitations for consumers have been the “tightly coupled” or non-spatial freedom requiring consumers to precisely align their device on a charging pad, charging only one device at a time, and power to charge only a smartphone.  While on my travels throughout Asia last month, I discovered that a number of tier 1 OEMs decided not to supply WPC based products not only due of those limitations but also because of unacceptable performance for low efficiency and generating too much heat.

There are now 3 industry groups driving these common objectives: WPC, A4WP, and the Consumer Electronics Association Working Group 4 (CEA WG4).   The CEA WG4, where PowerbyProxi is one of the leading contributors, was formed over one year ago and took the lead in defining an interoperable specification for what the rest of the industry is now recognizing as the fundamental needs.

PowerbyProxi demonstrated working products and technologies at the Wireless Power World Shanghai 2012 which deliver the ultimate in spatial freedom and the ability to charge multiple devices simultaneously with its Proxi-3D and  Proxi-2D charging platforms as well as the most miniaturized receivers that can fit into AA batteries.


Let me now your thoughts.

Tony Francesca

 Tony Francesca is VP of Business Development – Consumer Technologies 

Make any Consumer Device Running on AA batteries Wirelessly Rechargeable

September 17, 2012 / 2 Comments / 539 / Consumer Electronics Solutions

There are hundreds of millions of Consumer Electronics devices that run on AA batteries and hundreds of millions more ship every year. Examples of devices are: digital cameras, portable game players, portable music players, Xbox 360 game controllers, Xbox 360 headsets, Nintendo Wii game controllers, TV remote, DVR remotes, children’s toys, …

Many consumers buy disposable AA batteries to keep their device running.  When batteries lose their charge, consumers throw them away and replace them with new ones.  The process is: remove the old ones, throw them away, and make sure the new ones are correctly inserted or the device will not work.  Where do the old ones go?  In a toxic landfill, of course.  Imagine how many tons of toxic batteries are disposed of every year!

What are the alternatives?

You can certainly purchase rechargeable AA batteries.  When batteries run low, you remove them and place them in a battery charger.  The benefits are that you don’t have to keep purchasing new batteries and you are a good corporate citizen on not adding to the toxic waste problem.  However, you still have to remove the batteries from the device, place them in a charger, and make sure you correctly insert them back into your device.

PowerbyProxi has taken this to the next level of user convenience with wirelessly rechargeable AA batteries which utilizes our unique miniaturized receiver technology.   Any device that runs on AA batteries instantly becomes a wirelessly rechargeable device by replacing the disposable batteries with the new wirelessly rechargeable AA batteries.  When batteries run low, you simply place the device into the charger, no need to remove the batteries.  It is practical and as simple as that.  This new way of charging is referred to as “In-Device Charging” thanks to PowerbyProxi’s innovation and leadership in wireless power.

Imagine this convenience: no need to keep buying more disposable batteries; no need for the cumbersome step of removing batteries from the device; and no need to correctly replace the batteries in the device.   In addition, you are a good corporate citizen by reducing the growth in toxic landfills.

Refer to the link for a video example. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aqf3b7hqsxw

Let me now your thoughts.

 Tony Francesca is VP of Business Development – Consumer Technologies 

Making a Wireless Power Charging Standard, What is the right Frequency?

September 11, 2012 / 0 Comments / 141 / Consumer Electronics Solutions

Continuing on from my previous blogs regarding wireless power & charging standards and comparing various stances on the wireless charging of electronic devices – today I want to discuss the respective positions on frequency.

I have written in the past about convenience for Consumers in wirelessly charging mobile devices.   Some of the key factors are:

  • loosely coupled” or the ability to “drop and forget” which means you don’t have to work hard in making sure your smartphone is aligned or oriented precisely on the charging pad for it to charge
  • Simultaneously charging multiple devices such as a smartphone, a tablet, a remote control, gaming controller,… at the lowest cost

While the Consumer Electronics Association WG4 will deliver on the above, there is an on-going debate to select the right frequency.

Of course the Wireless Power Consortium has defined a specification for frequencies below 500 KHz.  Such products have been shipping and proven to be safe and reliable.

At the same time, another working group called the A4WP is driving a specification for a frequency of 6.78 MHz – making it incompatible with products now shipping. In addition, the 6.78 MHz frequency has not yet been proven to meet safety and emission requirements, while is also expected to cost more.

Does it not seem obvious that Consumer Electronics Association WG4 select a frequency less than 500 KHz, which has been proven to meet the safety and emission standards, is the lowest cost for consumers, and is interoperable?

Let me now your thoughts.

 Tony Francesca is VP of Business Development – Consumer Technologies 

Making a Wireless Power Charging Standard, What is Best for Consumers

August 8, 2012 / 0 Comments / 139 / Consumer Electronics Solutions

Continuing from my blog last week regarding wireless power charging of smartphones and the current debate around industry standards.…

The CEA has formed 2 working groups to drive specifications, with the goal of establishing a large market for Consumer Electronics:

WG4 System Requirements for Highly Resonant Wireless Power Systems
Summary: “WG4 is developing ANSI/CEA-2042.4. This standard will define system requirements for highly resonant wireless power systems. Highly resonant wireless power systems are systems that transfer power wirelessly using magnetic induction, and that require magnetic resonance.” This is also referred to in the industry as loosely coupled.

WG5 System Requirements for Tightly-Coupled Wireless Power Transfer
Summary: “WG5 is developing ANSI/CEA-2042.5. This standard will define system requirements for a tightly coupled wireless power system. A tightly coupled wireless power system is an inductive wireless power transfer system with a strong magnetic linkage between the primary and secondary coil.”

Why would any consumer care for another tightly coupled solution?   Isn’t this just another manifestation of the specification released by the Wireless Power Consortium with all its limitations?

I believe WG4 is solving real customer needs to enable practical solutions for Consumer Electronics.  Don’t you?

PowerbyProxi is a member of WG4 and one of the main contributors to this specification.  We are leveraging our world class team in wireless power and many years of delivering practical solutions that customers want.

Let me now your thoughts.

 Tony Francesca is VP of Business Development – Consumer Technologies 

Recharging your smartphone, what is convenient and practical?

July 27, 2012 / 10 Comments / 397 / Consumer Electronics Solutions

One of the hottest new technologies for Mobile Consumer Electronics is battery recharging without plugging in the power cord – thanks to wireless technology.

The fundamental wireless power technology itself was invented in the last century and common devices such as electric toothbrushes have been using it since the 1990’s.

The next frontier is to recharge a broad range of Consumer Electronics devices such as smartphones and tablets, ultrabooks, notebooks, digital cameras, and many others that would use a conventional AA rechargeable battery. Certainly, consumer convenience is the ability of wirelessly recharging a device by placing it on a power charging mat and skipping the step of plugging in the power cable.  This is a big advantage since connectors and cables become unreliable and break down after many uses (think doing this one or more times per day).

The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) was formed 3 years ago and created a specification.  Suppliers lined up to develop and supply solutions.  Market analysts have been setting high expectations for consumer adoption.

So why has adoption been slow to date?  Have you seen the products being supplied by the WPC vendors and do you understand what they are capable or NOT capable of?

What is not spoken of is that with WPC products you have to be careful in aligning and orienting your smartphone or other device precisely on the charging pad.  Otherwise it will not charge!  This is an extra step and not a true convenience.  Some people refer to this as a tightly coupled solution.

Also, many consumers want to simultaneously charge multiple devices.  Again the WPC based charging pads can do so but the cost increases significantly with each device since the electronics and coils need to be replicated.

I have heard that heat generated by the WPC products may be an issue for devices. If anyone has details, please share them so that we can better understand the issue.

In my view, the above limitations are inherent in the WPC specification.  This falls short of the benefits that consumers expect and thus may not create a mass market.

To solve all these important problems with practical solutions, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) formed a working group to drive a worldwide standard.  Have you seen what they are up to and who is leading this charge?

 Tony Francesca is VP of Business Development – Consumer Technologies